On Monday, police officers in Detroit, Michigan arrested a domestic terrorist who planned to commit violent acts in the name of ISIS. Authorities also found that the man was part of a larger network.
According to Detroit News, Virginia native, Sebastian Gregerson, was found to have a grenade, semi-automatic rifles, a shotgun, and a mine in his Detroit-area home. Federal law enforcement claim that a radical imam in Maryland gave Gregerson the cash to purchase this arsenal.
Gregerson, who considers himself a “soldier of ISIS,” has deep connections to Yusuf Wehelie, a Somali American from Burke, Virginia, who was once detained in Egypt after flying from home from Yemen (a hotbed of jihadism).
Back on U.S. soil, Wehelie was arrested by federal law enforcement after they discovered that he was planning to carry out a terrorist attack against military recruits in Springfield, Virginia.
Wehelie told an undercover FBI agent that he wanted to, “Go to work, kill as much people as I can… If I’m going to do that, I want to do a lot of damage, and I don’t want to get one guy. I want to get, like, 20 of them.”
Before his arrest, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Gibbs told a Fairfax County count that Wehelie planned on flying to Minnesota, then crossing the border into Canada so that he could fly to the Middle East in the hopes of committing jihad.
Minnesota also offers another explanation — the city of Minneapolis, which has the largest Somali population in the United States, is home to several radical imams and mosques that have produced terrorists for ISIS.
So far, the 30-year-old Gregerson has cut a plea deal with federal prosecutors in regards to charges related to his possession of explosives. Gregerson, who has been in prison since July, has also been indicted in Virginia — for purchasing two firearms in what was labeled as a “straw purchase.”
The Muslim convert, Gregerson, faces up to ten years in prison. Wehelie was earlier sentenced to ten years in prison for his crimes.
The connection between Gregerson and Wehelie is far from the first time that a jihadist cell has been uncovered in the United States. Last year, federal authorities found that failed bomber, Ahmad Khan Rhami, had connections to other jihadis in New York and New Jersey, while last year’s failed terrorist attack on the campus of Ohio State shed light on the radicalization of Somali American Muslims in Columbus.
All told, American prisons currently house 443 convicted terrorists. These terrorists come all across the country, and some, like the six Albanian and Kosovar Albanian friends and family members who planned on attacking Fort Dix in New Jersey, were very close to carrying out their massacre.
While America’s problem with domestic terrorism is nowhere near as acute as the one experienced by France or the United Kingdom, ISIS and other jihadist cells in this country remain capable of launching mass murder attacks on both coasts and in the heartland.
This threat is something that the Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice has to crack down on immediately.